Going outside during the winter months can be a production. You may need gloves, a hat, a heavy coat, boots and maybe more depending on the weather. Your car, the vehicle you rely on to get you to and from home and work, needs some winter prep as well. While you can’t put a coat on your car, you can do some simple winterizing to help ensure that your vehicle will run smoothly and help keep you safe in the cold and inclement weather.
Winterizing your vehicle in Washington:
- The Basics: There are a few things that your car should have during the winter: an emergency kit that contains: bottled water, energy bars or other non-perishable food, first aid supplies, gloves, a blanket, road flares, a “Help” sign and a flashlight are just a few things that make up a great emergency kit. Should your vehicle stop working and you are stranded, this kit could keep you safe and comfortable.
- Sight and Traction: It is crucial to be able to see where you are going at all times while on the road. If your line of sight is blocked due to rain, snow or debris, you could be in danger of an accident. Before the weather turns poor, replace your windshield wipers and check to make sure that your defroster is in working order. Snow tires and chains are an option for areas that see snowfall. Plan ahead and make an appointment early to get your snow tires on (once snow tire use is permitted by law) because once the first snow falls, tire centers tend to get much busier.
- Under the hood: Before your car is truly ready for winter, there are a few more things you should consider. When was the last time you changed your battery? Typically, batteries have a three to five year lifespan, however the winter months can be quite hard on them. The pull of defrosters and heaters may cause an older battery to fail, leaving you stranded. Replacing your battery in the fall before the weather turns is a safe bet. Check all fluids, like oil, anti-freeze/coolant. Anything that is low, should be topped off and/or changed. This is also a great time to do a visual check for leaks. Speaking of topping off, it is best practice to keep a full to mostly full gas tank during the cold months. Due to the daily temperature fluctuations in the winter time, condensation can form on the inside of a gas tank. If that happens, water can get into the fuel lines, potentially freezing, blocking the line and causing damage.
Help keep yourself and others safe on the road this season by winterizing your vehicle. A few extra tasks could help save you from an accident, auto damage and a costly insurance claim. A change of season is also a great time to look at your insurance coverage. If you need to update or change your auto insurance policy, let the experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, WA know! They can also assist you with other types of coverage like year-round motorcycle insurance and more. Visit their insurance website 24/7 for more information about the insurance products they offer.